Pax in Nomine Domini! – Crusaders vs. Franks [SAGA battlereport]

Hello and welcome back for another SAGA showdown, this time between my Crusaders and Herman’s Frankish force using 6pt warbands! After having played several of the standard scenarios, like ‘Sacred Ground’, ‘Champions of God’, and the Challenge’, we decided that it was about time we stirred things up a bit. So, after a short discussion we settled on playing ‘the Last Stand!’ from the Crescent and the Cross rulebook, which is a challenging scenario for both defender and attacker alike. I really wanted to make sure that I got to attack in this scenario, mainly because the Crusaders are quite an aggressive army, but also since the risk of not unlocking virtues in time can make defending extremely hard and annoying. This scenario uses an interesting but tricky mechanic where both players bids a secret number between 1-10, which is translated to the number of turns each player thinks he/she can destroy the enemy army in. The lowest bidder automatically becomes the attacker, which basically means that you have to wager between a bid that not only gets you the role you want to play, but also gives you a chance of winning should you become the attacker. I opted to bet for 7 turns, while Herman placed a total of 8 turns in his bet. As I was the lowest bidder I became the attacker, set to destroy Herman’s entire army (not counting the Warlord) within seven turns. The scenario also allows the attacker to use the ‘Endless Warband’ special rule which means that warriors and hearthguard that have previously been killed can form up fresh units that can re-deploy on the table as the game progress – this in turn means that the defender will have to watch out and not try to kill too many soldiers from the attacking force. A tricky situation to handle even for a skilled player!

I took the following army:
1 Warlord
8 Mounted Hearthguards
8 Hearthguards on foot w. great weapons
9 Warriors on foot w. spears/shields
7 Warriors on foot w. crossbows

Herman’s army consisted of:
1 Charlemagne, Emprah of the West
8 Mounted Hearthguards (Charlie’s bodyguard: armor 6. Please note that we played this unit a bit wrong as it can only consist of a total of 6 models)
4 Mounted Hearthguards
8 Warriors on foot w. bows
8 Warriors on foot w. bows

 

 

Operation: Adamant Strike- Elysian Droptroops vs. Tau [40k 8th ed. battlereport]

The Xenos incursion was swift and resolute in this system. Within a matter of days every Imperial navy ship had been either destroyed or captured, and the local Planetary Defence Force proved little to no resistance against the superior weaponry of the Tau. Any survivors that had not accepted submission into the false Xeno empire had either fled into the wastelands, or formed small gangs of militia who spent more time fighting each other than the enemies of mankind.
Lt. col. Myron of the 101st had gone through every report and vox transmission from the initial assault on Verdis Prime in order to study the tactics of his alien adversary. Co-ordinated suppressive fire with guided targeting missiles and pulse weapons, followed by jet deployed specialist strike teams of battlesuits and drones. The Tau were a well equipped and seasoned host of warriors, but one thing they had not: the Emperor’s blessing. Operation Adamant Wedge was under way and the 101st, supported by a small group of Grey Knights, were the speardhead. The plan was as bold as dauntless: after establishing a firing line with elysian recon forces, the rest of the army would strike from above and deploy using the High Altitude Combat Drop-doctrine. Myron looked at brother Captain Severus on the other side of the briefing table. A stern warrior cleric clad in ancient terminator armor, decorated with the sacred insignias of the Inquisition, stood in silence as the staff team overlooked holographic maps and attack patterns. Myron’s requests of having a small unit of Terminators dispatched to the 101st for the initial assault had finally been granted. “Make your peace with the Emperor, brother Captain…” he said, “…we make planetfall in 6 hours!”. 

A Tauros Venator engage an airborne Tau Commander in a ruined industrial zone.

Welcome back to yet another Warhammer 40.000 8th edition battlereport, this time between my Elysian 101st Light Drop company, and (parts of) Jacob’s Tau Farsight enclave! This was a Matched Play game between two 1500pt armies. We chose to play the ‘Retrieval Mission’ scenario and rolled off to start deploying four objective markers. Jacob won the roll off and placed an objective on top of the skyshield landing pad, I then placed an objective in the large ruin on the opposite corner of the table. Jacob placed the third objective a couple of inches from the center of the table, right in front of the smaller ruin, and I placed the final objective behind the red silo close to the overgrown vehicle wreck. Each objective is worth 3 victory points at the end of the game to the player who controls it, and additional victory points can be scored for ‘slaying the warlord’, drawing ‘first blood’ and securing ‘linebreaker’. Since I got to place the final objective I then chose the ‘Frontline Assault’ deployment map, allowing Jacob to start deploying his units, as per the scenario rules for setting up the game. Please note that the army lists we used were in no way optimized for competitive play, but rather made up of the painted units we used in our 7th edition armies. Therefore, some special weapons, options, and upgrades may seem odd or unjustified. As a final disclaimer, some photos came out a bit blurry due to some lighting issues during the game, but hopefully they’ll give a good enough picture of how the battle progressed. Enjoy!

Fredrik’s 1500pts of Elysian Droptroops (with Grey Knight support).

Elysian Droptroops Vanguard Detachment (3+1 Command Points)
HQ
Company commander: powerfist (Warlord)
Company commander
ELITES
Command squad: 4x plasmaguns
Veteran squad: 2x plasmaguns, 1x meltagun 1x missile launcher, vox
Veteran squad: 3x meltaguns, shotguns, vox
3x Drop Sentinels: multimeltas, 3x HKM
3x Drop Sentinels: multimeltas
Officer of the fleet
FAST ATTACK
Tauros Venator: twin lascannon, 1x HKM
2x Tauros assault: tauros grenadelaunchers
TROOPS
Droptrooper infantry squad: flamer, vox, krak grenades
Grey Knights Terminator squad: 1x Nemesis deamonhammer, 1x psycannon, 1x nemesis force falchions, 3x nemesis force halberds
HEAVY SUPPORT
Droptrooper heavy weapons squad: 2x heavy bolters, 1x missile launcher
FLYERS
Vulture: twin punisher cannons

Jacob’s 1500pts of Tau Empire.

Tau Empire Spearhead Detachment (3+1 Command Points)
HQ
Commander in XV86 Coldstar battlesuit: high output burstcannon, missile pod, stimulant injector, shield generator, multitracker
ELITES
3x XV8 Crisis Battlesuits: 6x plasmarifles
3x XV8 Crisis Battlesuits: 6x burstcannons, 3x flamers
FAST ATTACK
Pathfinder team: 7x markerlights, 3x railrifles, 1x recon drone w. burstcannon
HEAVY SUPPORT
1x XV88 Broadside Battlesuit: High-yield missile pods, 2x smart missile system, early warning overdrive, seeker missile, 2x shielded missile drone
1x XV88 Broadside Battlesuit: High-yield missile pods, 2x smart missile system, early warning overdrive, seeker missile, 2x shielded missile drone
1x XV88 Broadside Battlesuit: High-yield missile pods, 2x smart missile system, early warning overdrive, 2x shielded missile drone

After action thoughts
Jacob:
After beeing away from the hobby for a good twelve months this was the game to get me interested again. Not that I ever really lost interest in it, but there is a lot to do here in the world. The conditions were perfect: well painted armies, board and terrain, and of top of that a new edition. For me this was a walkthrough of 8th as well as a walkthrough of the new rules for T’au in 8th, very exiting! Overall, the match was a good one. My plan was to shoot with Broadsides, and make awesome surgical tactical teleportation strikes (place them on the board more then 9″ away from enemy unit and unleash hell) with my two teams of Crisis suits wherever they were needed. My first turn of shooting with my Broadsides made an impact. My commander used his ability Kauyon (giving re-rolls of to hit to friendlies within 6″), so nothing else was expected. To my Crisis suits all I can say is, YOU ARE ALL FIRED! As you probably have read I lost the game. But don’t feel sorry for me, this is the best part. The process of trying out new things (and throwing out the old), the creativity in list making, exploring new units and ways to play the game is what makes Warhammer 40k interesting to me. Losing a game is really boosting this. The T’au empire will be back for a rematch, that I promise you!

Fredrik
Well I’ll be damned! Another one in the loop for the Elysians! This game was very interesting, both in terms of the points increase from my last game (allowing me to take more unique units), and in terms of facing off against my most feared opponent – the Tau enclaves! When Jacob opened up with his 24 high yield missiles and 24 smart missile systems with re-rolls to hit I thought I was in for a bad day. And I sort was at an early stage as he cleared off a whole unit of infantry and my expensive sentinels. This forced me to position my reserve units to deal at least an equal blow back to the Tau, and boy they did. The overcharged plasmas on a cheap command squad with orders once again proved deadly by wiping out an entire unit of Crisis suits. And the Vulture? What’s not to love?! A beautiful model with a heavy damage output versus units of fragile and unsupported infantry. That strafing run on the building during turn 1 will be remembered for a long time. Even though the Elysians have gotten a whole lot better in this edition, I think the unit that made this victory possible was the teleporting Grey Knight Terminators who soaked up a lot of fire and really pressured his back line. Kudos for being awesome again termies… I’m really looking forward to playing again, and by then, lets hope we see some awesome mecha robots (read Riptides and Stormsurges) on the blog!

Raid on Aglaia IV – Elysian Droptroops vs. Eldar [40k 8th ed. battlereport]

Captain Ikaru Perseus personally supervised the task of rearming and refueling one of the platoon Valkyries from the vantage point of a tower at the F.O.B “White Haven” – also known as “the Marbled Hellhole” by it’s garrisoned inhabitants. He was at the end of his twenty month long deployment at this Emperor forsaken rock, called Aglaia IV, which apperantly had resources valuable enough to justify the deployment of Phantine skyborne specialists rather than conscripted colonials for protection. Resources that were needed in some distant part of the Imperium, and that would never enrich these men and women’s home system. He hated this place. The ever burning sun, the scorching sands of the planet surface, and the constant harassment by solar winds making scanners and clarion vox-nets unreliable. For some ironic reason this system was also under constant threat from Eldar piracy, as if the Xenos found some animalistic pleasure or instinct in fighting over this place of rock and sand. Skirmishing with Eldar corsairs was a daily routine for the troopers of the 101st, which is why the commanders made sure to keep response units in the air at all times – consuming fuel on a rate higher than normally accepted by the Adeptus Administratum. Perseus glanced at the red veil flickering around the sun. In an instant, a flash of pure white light pierced his vizor and forced him to avert his gaze! A thundering salvo of laser and shuriken fire blasted the surface of the colony, forcing the defenders to take cover while Xeno hover craft and jet units deployed around the perimiter in a graceful manouvre. Before his troops had time to return fire, Cpt. Perseus activated his distress beacon to signal the rapid reaction units. “Three weeks left” he thought, and the Xenos could have this hell hole for all that he cared…

Close quarter firefights echo underneath the platforms of the Imperial colony.

Welcome to this Warhammer 40.000 8th edition battlereport between my Elysian Droptroops and my good friend Simon’s Eldar army. This was a Matched Play test game of 700pts designed for us to try out the new indexes, as well as the core game rules and mechanics. We set up the game using the Vanguard deployment map and the ‘Secure and Control’ Eternal War mission. I won the roll off to set up a single objective first and placed it on the Skyshield landing pad. Simon then set up a single objective on top of one of the towers. Each objective is worth 3 victory points at the end of the game, and additional victory points can be scored for ‘slay the warlord’, drawing ‘first blood’ and securing ‘linebreaker’. Since this was a rather small test game I won’t go through the army lists, although I should point out that my army was battleforged (+3 command points), consisting of a single Vanguard detachment (+1 command point) while Simon’s army was unbound (0 command points). Units and models were selected mainly due to what we had painted from our 7th edition armies. Here’s an overview of the deployment.

After action thoughts
Simon:
It’s always a pleasure to play against Fredrik and his flyboys. This was my second game in 8th ed. and the inexperience really shows off in some of the decisions I made during the game. But that of course went both ways since it was also Fredriks first game. I love how the new edition works, and all the small tricks that we found out as the game went on. Overall the game was really close but I made a fatal mistake in the 6th turn that made it possible for Fredrik to table me. Meltaguns in melta range hurts A LOT. My unharmed wraithlord got deleted by three lone meltagunners and BOOM!, game. We were equally surprised by their effect but had a great laugh together. Next time my Ghostwarriors will return in larger numbers and claim victory.

Fredrik: Wow, what a game! The new edition is really fast and engaging. My first impression is that you are a lot more active as a player during each phase now, since every situation has modifiers that impact the game in ways you need to be aware of. This feels very refreshing as opposed to seventh edition, even though I still miss templates (but that’s another debate). I really really enjoyed how well the Elysians performed in this game. They are my favourite army both in the lore and modelwise, and it’s very rewarding to finally see how their flavour as a guard regiment impact their game style. Having the ability to reserve half your army and perform deep striking attacks with surgical precision, wherever you want and whenever you want to (remember turn 3 at the latest!) for such low priced units is very strong. I will make a more thorough review over the next couple of days, but for now I think it’s safe to say that the Elysians have gotten a new set of teeth after lagging behind with an old armylist for a couple of years. Two final points: Tauros assault buggies and Drop sentinels are way more useful now since they dropped in price and got a boost to their weaponry. They are still not cheap enough to be over powered in any way, but at least they’re an option worth considering over similar units. I would love to make use of the Elysian’s unique order(s), of using heavy weapons as assault weapons, but never had the opportunity or the model count to use them effectively in this game – thus I tended to spam the “re-roll 1s” order a lot. In higher point games I think there will be more of a choice between orders for different situations. All I can say is watch this space for more battlereports with the Phantine skyrborne over the coming weeks!

Lords of War II recap

Once again, we say farewell to both happy and tired participants with a warm smile and a firm handshake. Looking out across our eight themed battlefields I notice that a handful of trees have been knocked over, a spare dice is left without anyone claiming it’s ownership, and one of the plastic objective markers have snapped off from it’s clear green acrylic stand. The price of war is high. But the rewards? Epic moments and memories that will hopefully take long for our participants to forget and thus well worth the cost. Months of hard work has finally paid off and even if this event exceeded our expectations – war never seems to change! In this article I’m going to share some thoughts on the Lords of War II-event that took place on the release day of Warhammer 40.000 8th edition.

First of all I’d like to reach out to our sponsors Deep Cut Studio and Playoteket. Without your dedication and support this event would not even come close to being as successful as it was. Meeting and exchanging ideas with you have been a true joy and I think I speak for every participant when I say that your contribution to our gaming tables and/or player Goodie bags were beyond awesome! We look forward to working with you again in the future in order to create the most memorable gaming events in Southern Sweden!

So, where do one start when there is so much to say? One of the best things from an organizer’s perspective was the fact that some new faces had dared to come out to play this time around. It is always nice to get to know new players, and to see how new armies perform and impact the local meta. Speaking of the armies, the level of painting standards was impressive to say the least! As you have noticed we have a “painted only” criteria at our events, and the amount of time and work that people put into preparing their armies is truly inspiring. You are the true heroes of this hobby! Below you can see the final scoreboard together with some pictures from the event. Exciting times are ahead of us with a brand new edition to learn, and to find a new suitable tournament format. If you are a forum dweller and a player who would like to attend our future events, don’t hesitate to sign up once your spider senses starts flashing about Lords of War III!

 

Orphans of Mortarion – pt.1

Hey and welcome back reader!
I’m currently surfing on the waves of wellbeing after hosting the second Lords of War tournament with the Scattered Dice crew. The event also happened to take place on the same day as the release of the eight edition of 40k, which meant that we had a very good opportunity to kick out 7th with a bang! I’ll write up a recap of the event once I get the photos sorted, but in the meantime I wan’t to introduce you to this summer’s 40k project – the Deathguard!
I managed to come across half a box of the Dark Imperium starter set, which contains enough models to keep me busy while I figure out a suitable army list, and I hope that you’ll follow this journey into plague and disease together with me over the upcoming weeks.

You have probably watched several unboxing videos and product reviews on youtube and other dark corners of the web already so this article won’t bother doing any of that. Instead, I’ll take you through the assembly process of the Heretic Astartes and share some of my thoughts on the different models and parts of the kit. First of all, you get a complete shit ton of models if you split the starter with a friend. The Deathguard alone equals some twenty Poxwalkers (read zombies), seven (notice that sacred number!?) Plaguearines, and three different characters. In this first article I’ll assemble the regular Deathguard Marines.

The details are as crisp as we have gotten used to with the newer GW lines.
There are some comic-esque elements of the new Deathguard aesthetics that I’m not 100% sure I enjoy, however most spikes and tentacles can easily be removed with a sharp knife.

One of the things I appreciate the most with the new Deathguard line is the fact that several models are sculpted wearing MkIII Power armor, which in itself gives a very heavy feeling to the miniatures. It is also a cheeky flirt with the Horus Heresy line and lore of the fourteenth legion. The MkIII’s really gives the impression of a primitive and somewhat antique Power armor, wich suits the overall feeling of Nurgle’s corruption and decay.

the seven Deathguard marines assembled… I see what you did there GW.

Now to be honest some of the over-emphasized spikes and bells on these models are a bit too much for me to digest, so in order to mute the comics feeling I had to clip and shave off some of the details. My main problem is the all out horn bonanza that the design team went for – with large spikes bursting out of every part of these miniatures. The Plaguecaster even have bone horns poking out from his feet and knees!..
I think the slim look of helmets with shaved off horns gives a better ‘average Joe’ feeling and, since I don’t want every model to be a centerpiece in my army, I think it’s better if the regular troops don’t attract too much attention.

One of my favourite models is the guy throwing a Blight grenade!
Two of the marines that had their helmet horns shaved off!
The Plague Champion. I think the Plague fly is a nice detail to his backpack but still haven’t decided wether to clip off the horn bursting out of his hood or not.
These models are sculpted in a way that truly mediates the weight of a Plaguemarine.

Next up I’ll assemble the characters and Poxwalkers, as well as get on with priming and showing off some test models for my Deathguard color scheme.
Cheers!

F.

Imperial Knight Showcase

This week I managed to finish the first out of three Imperial Knights that I’m currently working on as part of a commission bundle for a guy at the local club. This is the first time I’ve ever built and painted a knight and I must say it is a very nice kit despite it’s chunkyness and large surfaces. I magnetized all the weapons, auxiliary back weapons will be painted along with the other two knights, in order to maximize playability and options when the new edition hits. The owner specifically wanted an Imperial Fist themed knight which also gave me an opportunity to practice my yellows. After basecoating the armor plates with GW Averland Sunset I highlighted the yellow parts first using pure white and finally using Sun Yellow from Vallejo. I then blocked off some parts in black and applied decals, and finished it off with some simple streaking and chipping effects to give the knight a battle weathered look. All in all a wonderful kit to work with that resulted in a Tabletop+ standard for a happy owner. Want to share your thoughts on this model? Have any questions regarding the painting process? Please drop me a little comment below!
Cheers.

Imperial Guard/Astra Militarum Chimera conversion

I got a few hours in between all the travelling and work this week, and managed to finish a Stormchimera for the (shamefully dormant) Assault Brigade list that I work on from time to time. Being intoxicated by all the mojo, I did however forget to paint the two Krieg turrets (with autocannons) that I had lined up ready to paint as well – but I guess there’s more airbrushing ahead so getting them done won’t take long. In this article I’ll talk about how I converted a regular Chimera into a Stomchimera using some simple tricks, as well as sharing some thoughts on using pigments as part of the weathering process when painting tanks.

Not all things old are bad
When assembling the tank I decided I wanted a commander leaning out of the top hatch shouting orders to his disembarked fire team. I love the old metal tank commanders that used to come in different flavors depending on what regiment you were playing. They’re full of character and look a whole lot more dynamic than the new ones that come on the plastic sprues. However, I had already used the old crypto-soviet style commander for my Valdor tank hunter and I didn’t want to repeat myself with this vehicle. Digging through my dungeon treasure I came across one of the old dismounted tank crew, and I knew in an instant that he had to be incorporated in this build. The models are at least 15 years old by now but the (trio of) crewmen pretty much followed the same look of the tank commanders of the good old days: military style overalls, thick leather caps, and some sort of personal defense weapon. I used a cutter to get rid of his legs and fitted him into the turret. I angled him slightly forward to use the motion of the running pose, his arm was perfect to create the look of a commander that is leaning on the edge of the hatch while looking around.  A perfect match!

The Stormchimera is a more armored variant of the regular transport used by the Imperial Guard. The Storm is most notably used by the assault brigades of the Death Korps of Krieg, but other regiments are also known to have been issued Storm type Chimeras to fit specific campaigns or tasks. Forgeworld used to sell a conversion kit that included both the autocannon turret, improved track guards, and a modified environment filter, but as they’re no longer in production I had to do some plastic surgery to make my own Storm. First of all I used the track guards from a Leman Russ battle tank. They needed a bit of carving to get the right angles above the front of the much thinner tracks but other then that they went on pretty easy. Next up was the turret that had to be beefed up a bit. I used to pieces of spare track links to give the impression of improvised armor pieces that had been welded to the sides of the turret. On the back I glued some camo or tarp to give the turret a wider (and visually lower) profile. Last but not least the huge search light was placed on the side to enhance the feeling of a specialist vehicle.

Other trademarks of the Stormchimera are the enclosed lasgun arrays at the back of the tank. The glue-on lasguns tend to get flimsy over time, and I wanted to emulate the hazardous environment module from the old Forgeworld kit. So, by simply glueing the lasguns backwards I used the knobs to create cupolas for the gun holes. I think this makes the Chimera look a whole lot more like an actual armored fighting vehicle instead of a metal porcupine on tracks.

Mustard stripes and mud
One of the camo patterns presented in the artwork of the Siege of Vraaks-book shows a Macharius tank painted in dark German grey with mustard colored tiger stripes slung across the chassis. I instantly fell in love with this camo as it’s very striking and also provides some nice variation from painting green and olive drab. Just as with the Valdor, and the Hellhound, I basecoated the vehicle in Vallejo Model Color Yellow Ochre (70.913). After sealing the tank with a light coat of varnish I then ripped out stripes of paper tape in different sizes and applied them to the model. The idea here is to break up the shapes of the actual tank and make the pattern organic as opposed to the more manufactured shape of the armor lines. After covering the entire tank in stripes of tape I then airbrushed Vallejo Panzer Aces Dark Rubber (70.306) across the uncovered parts of the model. I let the final coat dry thoroughly and then removed the tape using an exacto blade – making sure not to rip any paint off.

By stippling around the edges with a sponge I chipped the paintjob with the same grey color and light metallics. I then applied the decals and began painting some streaking grime around rivets and down along the sides of the armor. For the final weathering of the tank I used raw pigments of different earth tones. I tend to first apply a thick (sort of) wash, where I mix the pigments with a bit of water and varnish/medium, around the tracks and the bottom edge of the tank. After the initial wash I then went back over all tracks, on top of the track guards, the dozer blade, and around all the side plates with just the raw pigments. Use an old brush here unless you want to ruin your best Kolinsky’s, and work the pigments into the surface to build up layers of dried mud. I went from the darkest brown to lighter khaki and mixed in some rust tones around some areas. In the final stage i sprinkled pure pigment powder on areas where mud and dust would gather using uing the tip of the brush. Finally, I sealed the pigments by first spraying matte varnish through my airbrush (on low PSI!), and then by applying a final coat using a rattle can. You can see the result below!